In an interview on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Aziz Ansari went into learning two languages: Italian and Japanese. He learned Italian, he says, in about three weeks of study and two months of living in Italy.
Japanese, easily the more difficult of the two, he tried to learn (well, memorize) in a week. “I didn’t have time, we were editing the series, and I only had one week. And, uh, Japanese is really hard,” according to Ansari.
So he improvised.
“I just sat with my teacher — my Sensei, Kobayashi-san — and I would just give him very specific scenarios.” He learned to order food, essentially. And that seems to have gone well. He only got in over his head once he came back to Los Angeles and returned to a favorite sushi restaurant.
A host asked him where he’d been the past few weeks, and Ansari replied that he’d been in New York mainly — and, in Japanese, explained excitedly that he’d also been to Tokyo.
“I’m Korean,” said the host.